TOWNSEND — The trick for a favorite during the Districts is to never let the underdog get comfortable.
That’s just what the North Middlesex girls lacrosse team did on Sunday afternoon.
The Lady Pats blew away Tantasqua with a near-perfect first ten minutes, roaring to a 10-0 lead, en route to an easy 15-4 victory over the Warriors.
The Lady Pats were simply too quick, too athletic and too polished for the visitors, and now advance to the next round for a date with Nashoba in Bolton.
“Tantasqua has a good goaltender and we were worried about our shooting,” said North Middlesex coach Margaret Nickless. “We have been working hard on it.”
All the practice paid off in a big way as the Lady Pats were on target throughout. Of their 17 shots on goal in the first half, 13 found the back of the net as they built a 13-1 lead over the first 25 minutes.
“We did an excellent job of finishing,” said Nickless. “I think we have improved a lot since we played at Tantasqua in the regular season and I think that improvement showed today.”
It took just 20 seconds for the Lady Pats to get on the board. Melissa D’Eon (three goals) picked up a rebound and scored from close range to make it 1-0.
North Middlesex did an outstanding job on draws and owned a wide edge in time of possession. The Lady Pats converted that advantage into goal after goal. Three players had hat tricks by halftime.
Emily Durette (three goals, two assists) did a little bit of everything to fuel the offense. She assisted on tallies by Jamie Kelley (three goals, assist) and D’Eon and showed a nice finishing touch around the net.
Kelsey Murphy (two goals, two assists) was instrumental in the offensive surge, both with her distribution and a pair of strong shots from in close for goals.
Kristin Hayward and Meg Flatley also chipped in with first half goals, while Angela Danforth had a pair of assists.
“It was nice to be able to get a big lead so quickly,” said Nickless. “We were able to work on our catching and passing, and were able to give some players some rest.”
Tantasqua picked up single goals from Riley Mann, Kaity McElroy, Kourtney Mantyla and Jessie Farland.
Scoring for the Lady Pats in the second half were Molly Flavin, assisted by Anna Rowse, and Mel Chhouy, assisted by Madison Ledoux.
North Middlesex goaltender Jenny Confrancisco made 12 saves.